As three remaining proposals to export coal through Oregon and Washington crawl through various approval processes (you can always find most up-to-date information at our Coal Scorecard), our neighbors to the north are considering a proposal to bring Powder River Basin coal through their port.
Delays south of the border have created an opening for Fraser Surrey Docks to handle up to eight million tonnes a year of American thermal coal through its B.C. terminal. Coal arriving on railcars would be loaded onto barges and then towed to Asia-bound vessels at a Texada Island port facility, roughly 100 kilometres northwest of Vancouver.
Like the U.S. proposals, The Global and Mail reports there are supporters — including B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett and industry group, the Coal Alliance — as well as those who are against the proposal:
Those opposing include environmental groups, the B.C. Nurses Union, First Nations leaders, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, community organizations and most of the directors at Metro Vancouver, the region’s political body. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who led a civic trade mission to Asia last November, opposes the Fraser Surrey Docks’ expansion into thermal coal.
— Toni Tabora-Roberts